Stem cell transplant without pre-treatment shows promise

10 December 2014

A new study has found that stem cell transplants can be a viable treatment solution even without pre-treatment courses of chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

This is according to data from a new clinical trial studying patients with a rare form of bone marrow failure who received a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) after pre-treatment with immunosuppressive drugs only. 

The team from Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center have presented the first data showing a successful transplant in dyskeratosis congenita (DC) patients without the use of any radiation or conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy beforehand.

Delivered by study authors Dr Leslie Lehmann and Dr Suneet Agarwal of Dana-Farber/Boston Children's at the 56th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, these findings suggest that this immunosuppression-only approach could benefit patients with DC. It could also help those with other bone marrow failure syndromes who are also at a high risk of poor transplant outcomes because they cannot tolerate the toxicity. 

"This experience begs the question of whether we can think more broadly about this approach's applicability for other conditions, something I think is worth considering," Dr Agarwal said.

Posted by ​Jeanette Royston​


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